fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "observe utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Sunny Lucas" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2017 06:58:22 -0800
Subject: Contact me for more informations.
Attention: Dear Partner,
I am Mr. Sunny Lucas, a Financial Auditor with African Development Bank, South Africa. I have urgent and very confidential business proposal for you. An American oil consultant/contractor with the South African Solid Gold, Mr. W. Ali. Bryant made a numbered time (Fixed) Deposit for twelve calendar months, valued at (Fourteen Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S. dollars) in my branch. Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we sent a reminder and finally we discovered from his contract employers, the South African Solid Gold Corporation that Mr. Bryant died in a plane crash in Alaska Airlines Flight 261 On further investigation, I found out that he died without making a WILL and all attempts to trace his next of kin were fruitless.
I therefore made further investigation and discovered that Mr. W Ali did not declare any kin or relations in all his official documents, including his Bank Deposit paperwork in my Bank. This sum of (Fourteen Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S. dollars) is still sitting in our Bank and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at the end of each year. No one will ever come forward to claim it. According to Laws of Republic of South Africa, at the expiration of 7 (Seven) years, the money will revert to the ownership of the South African Government if nobody applies to claim the fund. Consequently, my proposal is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand in as the next of kin to Mr. A. Bryant so that the fruits of this old man's labour will not get into the hands of some corrupt government officials. This is simple, I will like you to provide immediately your full names and address so that the attorney will prepare the necessary documents and affidavits
that will put you in place as the next of kin. We shall employ the services of an attorney for drafting and notarization of the WILL and to obtain the necessary documents and letter of probate/administration in your favor for the transfer.
A bank account in any part of the world that you will provide will then facilitate the transfer of this money to you as the beneficiary/next of kin. The money will be paid into your account for us to share in the ratio of 60% for me and 40% for you. There is no risk at all as all the paperwork for this transaction will be done by the attorney and my position as a prominent Financial Auditor guarantees the successful execution of this transaction. If you are interested, please reply immediately via my private email address above. Upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand the transaction. Please send me your confidential telephone and mobile numbers for easy communication. Please observe utmost confidentiality, and be rest assured that this transaction would be most profitable for both of us because I shall require your assistance to invest my own share in your country.
Finally, you can reach me immediately on my confidential email for more details on what to do next. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Sunny Lucas